1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on May 29, 2014 4:12 PM by msbertrand

    Black Screen Issue




      - FM Server Advance 12 (latest update) - MacMini Server

      - FM Pro/Pro Advance/Go 12 and FM Pro/Pro Advance/Go 13 (Latest updates) - Windows/Mac/iOS


      I have a new issue with a layout using 3 parts - Heather/Sub-Summary/Footer - and suddenly start displaying 'black' screen. I can see the data, but the bottom used area is now black. The exact same issue is reproduced when printing a report using the data (un-summarized) either in PDF (view or print) or Printed paper. Yet the layout used to print the report does not produce the black screen in view/edit mode, only when printed.


      This issue started about a week ago and appears to affect only these two function, it is not present in other layout/report in this file, or any other files. Both layout are displaying data from another file, I closed and remove the file and recovered it, no changes.


      It orinigally affected only 'one' user (in a deployement of around 40 users) yet once I audited my layout and to look for object or color background, the issue then became global to all users.


      Any idea where this come from?



        • 1. Re: Black Screen Issue

          It looks like your page BG is black. Does it also show up in preview mode?


          Use the "styles" tab in the inspector to view all styles on the layout. Look for "Layout Background", under there is a "default" style, when you select it, choose white as the background color.


          Not sure if that's your actual issue, but I've solved similar layout issues in FM13 this way. See screenshot for what I'm referring to.

          • 2. Re: Black Screen Issue

            No, there is no black elements, or colored part that are black.  They never were, just happened suddenly.  This is an FM 12 deployement, all themes are 'classic' and in FM 13 there is no style applied.


            That appear to be an issue within the file itself, still few things I want to try but it should be looked at by FM I believe.


            Tks MScreen Shot 2014-05-25 at 2.04.56 PM.png

            • 3. Re: Black Screen Issue

              I suspect your mixed environment is at the heart of the problem. Developing with FMPA13 on a file hosted on FMS12 is a bad idea. FMS12 has no idea how to account for things that do not exist in 12 from the 13 environment.


              This can translate to erratic layout behavior as different parts of your file are touched by differing versions. I've heard of it before, and experienced it once myself with specific objects.


              My recommendation would be that you update everyone to v.13, including the server. You might have to remove all styles from the layout and restyle it in 13, or you might have to rebuild the layout completely if there is corruption on the layout now.

              • 4. Re: Black Screen Issue

                I am not developing in 13, I only checked based on your suggestion.  I do not develop anymore either on this particular client, this is a system no one touchs.  Still trying different things,


                Tks M

                • 5. Re: Black Screen Issue
                  Stephen Huston

                  You could try opening to this layout mode in FMP12, saving the layout, and see if there is any improvement from resaving from 12 for the 12 environment.


                  Mike's comments about mixed environment development is right on target. There have been reports that simply opening a file in 13 might revise layout code due to changes in the CSS structures between versions.

                  • 6. Re: Black Screen Issue

                    So you are telling me that solution developped in FM12 are not compatible with FM13? or risk to have rendering issue?  This is a serious issue.  It means I have to re-write all my solutions in FM13 for them to work?

                    • 7. Re: Black Screen Issue

                      Well, you said you didn’t do any development in 13, but still somethings can be messed up even by entering and exiting layout mode. It’s always been a wise choice to stay on the same platform. With the radical filemaker server/server-to-client changes in 13, there are significant differences from 12.


                      You mentioned you did a troubleshooting that made it worse (1 user’s issue ballooned to all users), so some sort of access must have triggered it.


                      Also, you never mentioned (that I recall) what version of FM the original single user having the issue was on.

                      • 8. Re: Black Screen Issue

                        Ok, I opened and went to layout mode after you talked about the 'style' and background function in fm 13, the issue occurred before I did that and never used fm 13 with this solution.


                        Unless I misunderstand, you said simply opening an fm12 file using fm13 could cause issue. Is that what you meant, or open you meant opening a file and go in development mode than layout mode could cause an issue?


                        Martin Bertrand

                        • 9. Re: Black Screen Issue

                          My comments about cause were related to development, not the singular action of an FMP13 user opening a file on FMS12. There's no concrete rule on what the cause is. Layout mode in 13 on a file hosted on 12 is certainly a bad idea, even if it doesn't mess things up that you can see originally there could be underlying corruption.


                          There were a few problems such as this when 13 first came out, so the general recommendation, at least in my opinion, has been to keep all of your development and desktop users in the same platform. It's unavoidable to have FMGo follow the rules because v12 is no longer an option.


                          Layout corruption is one of the harder things to detect in filemaker, and even harder to trace it's origin. A solid backup plan is always recommended. We normally do Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly on a 7/4/1/1 schedule (keep 7 days, 4 weeks, etc...)


                          Sometimes it's faster to rebuild the layout and move on, marking the old one with a *deprecated* title so it's no longer used. Don't duplicate the layout, as it's been thought that corruption could possibly be duplicated as well.


                          I know this has shaken your faith in the transition to FM12 to 13, but know that issues like this are few and far between.

                          • 10. Re: Black Screen Issue

                            Ok, make sense.  I think we got confused with 'opening a file developed in FM 12 using FM 13' and 'opening a file developed in FM 12 and go in layout mode using FM 13'. 


                            I could not anticipate a solution developed in FM 12 would not work in FM 13, yet I do understand using FM 13 in development mode in a FM 12 hosting environment could cause issue. 


                            However, I have not done that and keep on using FM 12 for my FM 12 deployement - I could be wrong and my have done this by mistake - yet I have not been in development mode in the file causing this issue for at least 6 months, this issue appear suddently.


                            What I have done; recover the file, no luck.  Created new layouts, changed script to use new layout, not luck.  However, I recently start a new deployment using a clone copy, this file is not causing any issue.

                            Tonight, I will pull the trouble file out, and import data into the clone that does not cause the isse, reload on server and see the results, and advise.


                            Tks for the help,


                            • 11. Re: Black Screen Issue



                              - I imported the data from the 'broken' file into a new file from a cloned copy

                                - removed the broken file from FM Server deployment

                                - upload the new file with imported data and re-opened


                              Problem fixed, all black screen are now gone.


                              Still a mistery, yet this process works and I will monitor and advise if this issue persist.


                              Tks all for your help,



                              • 12. Re: Black Screen Issue

                                It might be wise to create an "import from backup" script that automatically performs the action and updates any serial counters that you have. I would still recommend transitioning all users to 13 as soon as possible to limit any possibility of future errors.


                                Also, backups...

                                • 13. Re: Black Screen Issue
                                  Stephen Huston

                                  Very glad to hear you had clean backups.


                                  And it sounds like you shouldn't use 13 even to look at anything in layout mode where clients are still using 12, as entering layout mode even for a quick look around is a type of development access.


                                  I keep FM12 and FM13 installed on separate computers, so I have to actually make a choice fo which version to use, rather than having 13 (the lastest installed) open by default. Helps me avoid accidental use of the wrong version for opening specific files.


                                  Unfortunately, we know such problems exist, but we don't know exactly when or how they are triggered except by diagnosing issues as they arise and making reasonable guesses based on what we know was done. Your experience throws further suspicion on the 12/13 mixed development issue in my mind.

                                  • 14. Re: Black Screen Issue

                                    So my black screen is back already, yet it appears to be triggered by a very specific script - my solution is fully scripted.


                                    It is strange and I see a pattern.  Only one user has the issue, and also is the only user having access to the script that trigger the issue (accounting feature).


                                    I just loged back in, no issue on my side, yet if I replicate the operation I do get black screens.  there are no errors in my script nor features from FM 13 but a layout must have something that triggers the rendering process to go south.


                                    I will try to find and advise if I isolate what causes the issue.


                                    Tks M

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